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What are some of the reasons for chest pain in women over 50?

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Quick Answer

Chest pain, or angina, in women over 50 can signal the onset of heart disease, warns the American Heart Association. Symptoms of heart attacks in women may be different and more subtle than those in men, points out Mayo Clinic. Although indigestion may also cause discomfort in the chest, if women experience chest pain, they should immediately seek medical help.

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As of 2015, more American women die of heart disease than of any other health threat, according to the American Heart Association. Men typically contract heart disease due to obstructions in their coronary arteries, whereas women usually develop heart disease in the tiny arteries leading out from coronary arteries. Instead of the intense chest pain that signals heart attacks in men, women may experience a more subtle tightness or pressure in the chest during a heart attack, explains Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms may include fatigue, dizziness, sweating, shortness of breath and nausea. Women often develop heart damage because when symptoms appear, they do not link them to heart attacks and delay seeking medical attention.

Women are more prone to develop heart problems if they are diabetic, overweight, stressed or smokers, states Mayo Clinic. After menopause, reduced levels of estrogen can increase the risk of heart disease. To help prevent heart disease, women should eat healthily, keep their weight down, refrain from smoking and exercise regularly.

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